BTs, Catcher Fights, and Chiral Crystal Clusters

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This page follows me as I explored my data and found how things work for Chiral Crystals (CXls, displayed in cgs on the bottom of the Map screen) and Chiral Crystal Clusters (CXCs, the chiral hands on the landscape). It's practically documentation of my growing understanding, but still provides a great basis for how CXl drops work.

If you don't want to read the whole thing, you might be most interested in:


Samples Across an Entire Game

Screencap of some of my raw Catcher harvest data. The final boss is data row #s 54-56. I also took screencaps of the Logs showing individual CXC cgs for many fights.

Here are summary statistics on all the CXls I collected from 31 representative Catcher fights across my second, Hard game:

Stat Chiral
Crystals
Clusters Average
/ Cluster
Smallest
Cluster
Largest
Cluster
Min 233 11 18.0 1 86
Ave 820.6 15.0 53.3 6.0 118.2
SDs 321.9 2.1 17.4 9.3 7.9
Median 808 15 54.0 3 119
Max 1,505 18 84.0 48 125
Sum 25,440 466 1,652 186 3,664

I may have missed a few fights, and also had to tease out unique, "real" gameplay fights and otherwise exclude fights I picked just for the helluvit or repeats for testing (which is why my total Giant BTs killed is 49, below).

I kept pretty good notes though, so it's probably pretty representative of a complete playthrough on Hard, if you just killed what you had to but otherwise avoided Chaser fights.

Chiral Crystals (CXls)

The most important column is the first one, Chiral Crystals. These are stats on the CXl cgs from my 31 Catcher fights. Some very early fights had very low harvests (the 233 minimum), like the BTs in the "pass" from Cap KC to WS W Cap KC, close to the seashore. Other Catchers in the Eastern Region also had low yields, but some had medium yields (700–900 range).

There was at least one small-yield Catcher in Central, at that early fight for Craftman's locker in the ruined mall. But all the rest of Central were medium or large, in the 900, 1200, a few even 1400 range. (Not counting the two bosses, one in Western Region and the other right outside Cap KC at endgame.)

There was a real gap in the data between low-yield and higher yield Catchers. The low-yield ones were 233–321, and the next highest was 674. The highest yields were from the two big bosses but still, there wasn't any particular gap below their yields to other BTs ... bosses simply seemed at the top of a continuum of the largest-yielding Catchers.

It isn't really possible to show typical results for a game. Some players avoid BTs at all costs and/or stealthily sneak past them. Other players love Catcher fights and go out of their way for them. (That was me in my second game.) But the majority of players probably muddle through somewhere in the middle, avoiding Catchers when they can, fighting when they can't, and otherwise keep progressing the game. (That was me in my first game.) The data in the table above is from my second game, but I kept good notes (where the fight was, what I was doing in the game) and so I could filter data for the table above so it's applicable to the middling-player group.

Sorry, but I wouldn't venture to correlate how hard Catchers are to fight versus their CXl yield. Honestly I thought most every fight was a challenge in its way, although only the final two bosses were truly hard. Because Catchers have so many ways to hurt you, and they keep moving, and the controls for switching weapons are such a bear (why can't you just have grenades on a single hotkey??), Catchers always keep you on your toes. I could sense differences in their appearance; some looked really cool! But I never felt that early Catchers are much easier than later ones. Except for the final two bosses, which were clearly far harder than any others.

Chiral Crystal Clusters (CXCs)

Some folks probably don't care, but I was intrigued by the obvious distribution of cluster sizes and their harvest amounts. I didn't want to write down the cgs for every single CXC from every single Catcher so I did the next best thing: got a handful of stats from each Catcher harvest. Namely, the number of clusters and the smallest and biggest cg haul from them, as shown in the table. It gives you some boundaries and averages. Also I took quite a few screencaps of their CXl harvests from my Log.

The smallest number of clusters was from early Catchers of the low-yield group (233–321 CXls). They all had only 11–14 CXCs. Catchers with larger yields had 11–18 clusters, but the ones with the lowest cluster counts were also the lowest total cg yield of these. This is a long way of saying that lower cluster counts correlate with lower yield, and vice-versa. But it's a fairly loose correlation; read on.

Chiral Crystal Cluster (CXC) Statistics

For anybody that cares (laugh), here's more stats on the distribution of cluster yields.

To be clear: When I say cluster, I mean each one of the chiral hands you see poking up from the ground when a Catcher dies. Each one is one cluster. Every Catcher drops 11–18 CXCs.

Did you know? If you save your game after killing a Catcher but before harvesting, then reload, the reloaded game will have the same number of clusters in the same position and same size (cluster "hands" come in at least three sizes). But you will harvest a different number of cgs from each cluster, every time you reload. This is sweet from a data perspective because it means you can re-sample the exact same drops as much as you want.

Let's look at two extreme cases I sampled.

Low-Yield Clusters

First is an odd result I came across in the "pass" between Cap KC and WS W Cap KC, by the seashore ( +910, +1203). It's a place where low-yield Catchers hang out, and the results struck me because there was one cluster (hand) obviously larger than the rest (see inset). So I saved the game and resampled the clusters six times:

One large CXC among twelve from a low-yield Catcher.

Sample Total
CXls
Single
Largest
CXC
Second
Largest
Smallest Total
excluding
Largest
Average
excluding
Largest
1 321 121 26 10 200 18.2
2 300 103 26 3 197 17.9
3 280 97 26 8 183 16.6
4 279 122 25 4 157 14.3
5 276 91 n/a 4 185 16.8
6 295 119 28 2 176 16.0

In six re-samplings of the same drop of 12 CXCs, the single largest cluster was 91–122 cgs, but the next largest one was 28 at most. (And: Yes, the largest harvest was always from that one biggest hand.)

That's a huge gap in distribution. If you exclude the largest cluster, the rest were 2–28 cgs in size, average 16.64 cgs (for 6 x 11 clusters). If the largest one is included, the average cluster size is 24.32 (for 6 x 12 clusters).

Medium- and High-Yield Clusters

Big boss drop of 18 CXCs. Look big to you? Give Sam a hand!

Second is the other extreme, the biggest boss in the game. When I killed the whale, I got 18 clusters. I reload re-sampled them 3 times.

Total CXls ranged from 1,505–1,599, the minimum cluster sizes were 45–48, and the maxima 115–123 cgs. That's an average of 83.6–88.8 cgs per cluster. (These ranges are from the 3 re-sampling events.)

I took the results from all 3 samples and sorted these 54 CXCs (3x18) from lowest to highest. There was a clear gap between 70 and 87, with no values in between. Analyzing this little set of 54 values gave stats for these two cluster sizes:

Stat Medium
Group
High
Group
Min 45 87
Ave ± SDs 56.3 ± 8.3 102.0 ± 9.8
Max 70 123
N 18 36

Although I'm sure the Big Boss's drop must've been designed to be the largest in the game, I still couldn't discern any other boundary in the High group. It was pretty much a continuum up to 123 cgs. And I've seen lots of other Catchers' drops with values up to 125 cgs. So I definitely get the impression that even this biggest of Catchers did not have specifically-defined larger clusters designated just for it. Instead, it simply dropped a higher percentage of the Large cluster size than other Catchers. I'm sure that's enough to almost always result in a larger total sum of CXls.

Also note that one-third of the clusters were Medium size, two-thirds Large. True, this I was only re-sampling one particular drop of clusters; the fraction might've been a little different if I had actually killed the whale more times. (Poor Sam!) Still, it suggests that the algorithm just decides how many of each cluster-size it'll drop. And this, in turn, dictates the total haul.

More Crystal Harvesting Results

For comparison, across all the data collected in my second game, only these three total-CXl values came close to the Big Boss totals:

  • 1,359 for the second-biggest boss at Edge KC. (Only sampled once.)
  • 1,386 and 1,403 for the huge Catcher at the "Ruined Roadside Factory" west of Craftsman, when you start paving your way to the Mountain.

Otherwise, I only encountered two Catchers that dropped over a thousand CXls (not counting the two bosses).

  • One had golden glints, in that spooky valley with ruined buildings just W of Geologist (approx. -1165, -700). A Half-Life drop is in the building N of the valley.
    • I fought him twice and reloaded one of the drops three times; got 1,184, 1,225, and 1,236 CXls, always with 17 CXCs. Smallest harvest was 2 cgs.
  • In a fight with a big Catcher in the rocky mountain pass between Port KC and DC W of Cap KC, after Vietnam. Got 1,214 CXls in 16 CXCs, smallest one just 1 cg.

These guys must have had at least one Low-yield CXC in their drop loadout. So did the Edge KC boss. So, apparently, the final whale boss is the only Catcher in the whole game without a single low-yield CXC. (Also FWIW, I never encountered a single Catcher that didn't have at least one large-yield CXC. Even the little guys in Eastern had at least one, as shown above.)

So that's only five Catchers with 1k+ CXls: The two bosses, the Ruined Factory, near the Geologist, and the mountain pass on the way back to Cap KC. All the rest dropped less than 1k. Fortunately, the Ruined Factory guy is pretty central to, well, Central, and you can farm him all you want. Unfortunately, his battleground doesn't have a stable set of rocks to perch on, IIRC... you have to deal with floating buildings.

In fact, I got into fighting the Ruined Factory BT, testing various loadouts and approaches. Here are stats from 9 fights. These are not reload re-samples, but actual separate fight results:

Stat CXCs CXls Min CXl Max CXl Ave CXl
Min 15 1,093 4 107 68.3
Ave ± SDs 16.11 ± 0.93 1,258 ± 96.4 10.0 ± 7.5 117.4 ± 4.9 78.2 ± 6.0
Max 17 1,403 23 123 87.7

Notice that all the smallest (Min) clusters are in the Low group and all the highest (Max) are in the High group. Also, I kept screencaps of the harvest Logs for 7 of these fights. In each fight, 1 to 3 clusters were low yield.

Here are some more samplings. This is from 10 reload re-samples of just one kill of a Catcher on the west bank of the river between the Photographer and the highway. As expected, every reload had 16 CXCs:

Stat CXls Min CXl Max CXl Ave CXl
Min 757 1 112 47.3
Ave ± SDs 808.4 ± 42.6 4.1 ± 4.0 118.0 ± 4.6 50.5 ± 2.7
Max 874 10 125 54.6

I OCRed these screencaps and found that every single one of the resamples had 7 low-, 5 medium-, and 4 high-yield cluster values.

In four other separate kills of the same guy (not part of the reload series, which were all from one kill) I got a total of 806, 888, 941, and 944 Cxl cgs, from 15, 16, 17, and 16 CXCs, respectively. This shows that although saving a game and reloading it locks in a specific array of cluster drops, the Catcher itself can drop a different (but similar) number of clusters (and of course similar total CXls) with each kill.

Crystal Cluster Yield Groups

After seeing all my results above, I visually scanned all my various Catcher-harvest Log screencaps (38 screencaps in all), looking for any values in the gaps I had identified so far. To cut to the chase, I now think the CXl yield groups look like this:

Chiral Crystal Cluster (CXC)
Harvest Yield Groups
Stat Low Gap Medium Gap High
Range 1–28 29-40 41–70 71-85 86–125
Values 28 12 30 15 40

Said another way, I don't think you'll ever see a CXC drop from 29–40 or 71–85 cgs.

Here's a better mnemonic for instantly grasping cluster sizes relative to where the gaps are. It may look funky at first glance; compare it to the table above:

  0   Low   -1 30s +1    Medium   +1 70s +6   High   126

In other words, values in the 30s and 70s are the gaps between cluster sizes. Give or take a little on each side of the 30s and 70s.

Of course, this is if my Hard PC game has the same parameters as other difficulties and other platforms. I can't recall anyone ever talking about something like this, so I have no way to compare.

The yield groups seem real. My harvest Log screencaps had roughly 600 individual cluster-cg results when there are ostensibly only 125 unique values (1–125), yet I didn't see a single "gap" value. Just the 98 unique values above (28+30+40). It appears to hold true for all CXCs, even lone ones on the landscape. They all come in three sizes.

Just so we're clear: "low yield" comes from the small chiralium-cluster hands. Medium- and high-yield from the larger hands. I personally can't readily tell Medium- and High-yield clusters apart visually on the ground (see the "One large" and "Big boss" screencaps above), but there must be a difference because if you reload re-sample a given Catcher's drop, you get the exact same number of CXCs of particular yield sizes each time (although the actual cgs harvested will be anywhere within the bounds of that yield group). Stated another way: When I reload re-sampled the big boss, I always got 6 Medium and 12 High yield harvests from the 18 CXCs it dropped. When I reload re-sampled the Catcher near the Photographer, I always got 7 Low, 5 Medium, and 4 High yield harvests. The exact cgs harvested from Low, Medium, and High yield clusters changed each time, but were always within the range for their yield group.

For my 31 "real gameplay" Catcher fights (at the beginning of this page), the total number of clusters dropped by each Catcher was:

Number of Clusters Dropped by Catchers
# Clusters 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Total
Count 2 3 2 5 4 5 8 2 31

I suspect that one or two random chiralium hands already on the landscape contributed to some of these counts. There's no way to know – you can't see them for the tar, or know just where the fast-moving Chaser will die – unless you go to great lengths to clean the field or figure out where clusters were prior to a battle. But you'd have to do that in a place with BTs hovering and likely to spawn a Chaser, at which point you're back to square one anyway. Fuggedaboutit.

Plus, during actual play, casual players will have this same situation. So for all practical purposes, an occasional extra hand or two in a harvest is par for the course. Therefore the data may as well simply include them, shrug. Hell it's arguably more representative of actual results in normal gameplay, eh?

Notice the spike at 17 CXCs. I wouldn't be surprised if Catchers drop a max of 16 CXCs, but fairly often they got mixed in with a hand or two that was already there. Stated another way, the distribution may well be 10 or 11 to 16 or 17. Perhaps the high end is 16 but their distribution algorithm gets maxxed out. A.k.a. the math might've said 17 or 18, but it gets capped at 16... which causes all these capped guys to pile up at 16. (DS has a lot of caps under the hood; I can name a dozen without even thinking about it.)

And then a fair amount of them also happened in a place with a random hand already there. So when you harvest, the 16 becomes 17.

Who knows. Maybe something like that. Anyway, there's the data I got from my second game.

How Catchers' Total Harvests are Determined

You can put everything I observed together to make a probable statement like this:

The game designates roughly how many clusters of each yield-group that a particular Catcher will drop. It's like rolling a bunch of dice, where some come up 1–28, some 41–70, and some 86–125. It causes the total harvest to be variable, within these limits. Because there are a lot of clusters (11 to 18), results often tend toward the average roll (center of the distribution).
Histograms of 9 Reload Re-sampled Clusters from a Photographer's Catcher
Histograms of cluster yield distributions for 19 Logs from 3 types of Catchers

First, let's look at distributions from each yield group:

CXl Yield-Group Percentiles
Group Min Low Ave. High Max Values
Low 1 7.75 14.5 21.25 28 28
Medium 41 48.25 55.5 62.75 70 30
High 86 95.75 105.5 115.25 125 40

The game RNG seems to produce flat results (see insets). For example, a Low-yield harvest will be anywhere from 1 to 28 cgs; there's no weighting or tendency toward the center. In the table above, I set the Low value to 25% of the way from Min to Max, and High is 75% of the way. As a result, the 25% and 75% points (mathematically) are also the same as the 25th and 75th percentile.

The two insets demonstrate that you get relatively flat distributions within each yield group. The first set of four is from 9 reload re-samples of a Photographer's Catcher drop, and the second set is from 19 "P+C+B" Logs (9 Photographer reloads, 7 Craftsman's Ruined Factory separate kills, and 3 Big Final Boss reloads). All three of these Catchers have been described earlier on this page. The second set set is only intended to show that there's relatively even distribution in each yield group. Because it summates data from different Catchers, you'd never see something like this from any one Catcher.

The big task of getting lots of little rolls

If you wanted to flesh out my histograms and get a lot more data – aiming for, let's say, an expected average of 10 counts in every single bin – it would be some real work.

Let's say there was a Goldilocks Chaser that had a just-right set of cluster yield groups to match how many values are in each bin. There are 28 possible values for Low yield, 30 for Medium, and 40 for High. That's roughly a 3:3:4 ratio or, if the Chaser dropped 18 clusters each time, 5.14 : 5.51 : 7.35 (= 18 x 28/98, 30/98, and 40/98; 98 = 28+30+40).

The closest we might come is with a Goldilocks that dropped 5:6:7, which would slightly over-represent Medium and slightly under-estimate Low and especially High:

  Low:    280 / 5 = 56.00 samples needed
  Medium: 300 / 6 = 50.00 samples needed
  High:   400 / 7 = 57.14 samples needed

So we'd need 58 complete Goldilocks samples (kills or re-load resamples) to get at least 400 counts for the High-yield group.

And that, my friend, is:

  • A lot of Chaser kills.
  • A lot of harvest Log screencaps. (On the PC, you can only see 17 messages per Log screen, so you'd have to keep notes on the additional extra cluster's value that you miss with each screenshot.)
  • A lot of OCR and pulling into a spreadsheet (or whatever).

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to find a near-Goldilocks Chaser. Then kill, Log, and analyze the data for about 60 of them. (I threw in a couple extra for good measure.)

You could, of course, make this much faster if you 1) save just before harvesting, 2) do a harvest and count the cluster sizes, and 3) if you find your Chaser is close to a Goldilocks, 4) reload re-sample that one set of drops 60+ times.

I don't know if there is anything like a Goldilocks Chaser. If you look at my table of Specific Chasers, it would be somewhere between the Mid and Large size, with an average drop of, actually, 1,114 cgs (Low 999 and High 1,290) – I did another row of the table just for it. Apparently the fact that it slightly leans toward Large-yield clusters and has 18 of them, instead of 16 for the two shown there, makes a real difference.

But if, more realistically (given my Specific Chaser table), we look for a Goldilocks Chaser that drops 16 clusters, the best ratio I can find is 5:5:6. Again, this leaves the High-yield group the least represented; you'd need 67 samples (400/6=66.67).

You might say, "Why not make High-yield have 7 clusters?" But if you do that and keep the total clusters to 16, you have to reduce one of the others. The Small group needs the least samples (56) with 5:5:6, but if you go to 4:5:7, now the Small group would need 70 samples (280/4). QED 5:5:6 is the fastest way to reach the overall bin counts.

But the reality is that you're just shooting for at least 280 Low, 300 Medium, and 400 High-yield samples. So if you find anything kinda-sorta close, and you were theoretically willing to put in the work if you found a perfect 5:5:6 .... all it means is that you need to do 10% or 20% more sampling to get the minimal number of counts for each yield group, from some other Chaser that's not a perfect 5:5:6. What's 15% more if you're already committed to all this work, eh? Just keep an eye on your total counts for each yield group if you go this route. Once you hit the goal, you're golden. OCR the screencaps and make your histograms.

However you do it, when you copy out the OCR data, I'd still keep a column indicating which individual Chaser (i.e., which Log screencap) that your drops came from. With the "19 P+C+B Logs" I sure 'nuff pooled a lot of data... but I can't make statistics for actual real-world Chaser harvests per se, because these are not from the same Chaser.

If you did some 70-odd actual samples plus tracked the total harvest for each sampling, all from the same Chaser, then you could make some real statements about the distribution of total harvests. Like, "from a 5/5/6 Chaser, 90% of harvests were in the range [this to that]". Then it could also be used to check modeling. So: keep a few notes on which Chaser(s) you got data from as you go. If they're all from the same guy, it's easy... but even then, still keep data from each sampling event separate. (Just make a column for "Harvest # [n]" or whatever.)

I don't know if I'll ever get to modeling the distribution, but it'd be great to have real-world data with such a large sample size of real-game Chaser harvest totals.

Chiral Harvest Statistics with AnyDice

How can you tell if your particular result – the total harvest from a Chaser – was high or low?

In theory it's easy because each crystal of a given size gives a flat linear roll. For example, a Small cluster will have a result from 1 to 28, evenly.

But in practice, having a large number of dice makes precise answers hard to derive. Essentially, you have to simulate or even reconstruct all possible rolls. There can be an ungodly numbers of outcomes, like 1028.

That's the bad news. The good news is that I found a tool that does just what we need: AnyDice.com

(hit Expand in the upper right of this box to see more info)
Chiral cluster harvest code for AnyDice.com

If you follow the link above, it runs this program on AnyDice:

\ Death Stranding chiral cluster harvest results are:
   Small:    1 to  28 (28 values, ave.  14.5)
   Medium:  41 to  70 (30 values, ave.  55.5)
   Large:   86 to 125 (40 values, ave. 105.5) 
  The output is currently set to only show the Final Boss Chaser.
  The rest (including this top part) is commented out with backslashes.
\
function: chiraldist S M L 
{ result: Sd28 + Md{41..70} + Ld{86..125} }
\
  output [chiraldist  0  5  2] named "Typical CXC Cache" 
  output [chiraldist 10  0  1] named "Smallest Chaser (mostly Eastern)"
  output [chiraldist  7  5  4] named "Medium Chaser (mostly Central)"
  output [chiraldist  2  7  8] named "Big Chaser at Ruined Factory"
\
  output [chiraldist  0  6 12] named "Final Boss Chaser"
\
  output [chiraldist 105 28 7] named "One Hour of Landscape Harvesting"
\
  • Hit the [Graph] button to see it visually.
  • You can make the text window bigger by pulling the sizing handle in its lower right.
  • The backslashes comment out anything between them (IOW the code ignores it). So:
    • The first six lines are strictly FYI. You can kill them if you want.
    • The different outputs can be uncommented, deleted, or whatever via backslashes. In its current form, it's only showing you the last Output line, for the Final Boss Chaser.
  • All the "named" clauses are just window dressing that displays, e.g., at the top of the Graph.
  • As you can see, all you need to do is edit the three numbers in an Output line to get a distribution for something you saw in the game. For example, the Final Boss Chaser is 0 Small, 6 Medium, and 12 Large clusters. The S, M, and L values get fed into the little chiraldist function as dice multipliers.
  • Hit [Calculate] again if you change any of the code.

Using the results:

  • You'll probably want to check the Graph output.
    • Notice that our results have very long tails (the low and high ends). AnyDice was made for tabletop games, which might throw a handful of 4- to 20-sided dice. Whereas DS Chasers roll 11 to 18 "dice" of much higher values. So we're pushing the boundaries of AnyDice, but it still works like a champ.
  • Careful if you View the [Table] or [Export] results. If the Data button is set to [Normal], the percents shown for each outcome are only the probability that that one particular outcome would occur. For example, if you got 1500 cgs from the Final Boss, the [Normal] [Export] row for 1500 says 0.0813%. But that's the chance for only 1500, out of all possible outcomes (from 1278 to 1920).
  • Most people probably want to know, "How low is 1500... how much of the data is this low (or lower)?" For this, edit the Final Boss output like so:
   output [chiraldist  0  6 12]  <= 1500  named "Final Boss Chaser"
This will tell you that 1.43% of the data met the condition (= True or 1) and 98.57% didn't (=0). IOW, 1500 or lower only happens 1.43% of the time... it's a pretty damn low roll.
  • Or – even easier – don't stick in a particular value. Just use [At Most] for the low tail and [At Least] for the high tail. Now you see, e.g., the 1.43% for 1500, along with cumulative percents for all other outcomes.
    • Use the [Graph] button with [At Most] and [At Least] for a quick overview of what it's showing you.
    • You can also see these values with much higher precision in [Export].
  • The [Table] and [Graph] outputs also show the average and standard deviation for the outcomes, and the [Export] info shows these two values to higher precision, as well as the lowest and highest values.
    • Sorry, you can't use the standard deviation to get percents of the population in the usual way (like 68% of population within one SD) because this isn't a true normal distribution. It will be increasingly incorrect the farther out the tails that you get. But no matter - AnyDice is telling you the exact percentiles already. Easy.
  • The [Roller] shows you "sample" rolls, if you want. Random results of what you'd get if you rolled those particular dice. (This is probably real useful for tabletop games.)

Even more about AnyDice

This all started when I asked a general question about stats for DS's dice on the statistics /sr.

A couple of redditors mentioned AnyDice, so I looked into it and asked more-specific questions relative to DS. Plus I sent a message to Jasper Flick, its creator, who even jumped into the thread (as /u/CatlikeCoding) giving important explainers.   (Careful, I got some numbers wrong in my reply to ajnelsonalpha.)

Here are some pointers from Flick, if you want to go deeper with AnyDice. Quote:

  • Output 2*[chaserdrop 2] is incorrect as that just doubles the result, it should be output 2d[chaserdrop 2] for two separate events. Alternatively, output [chaserdrop 2] + [chaserdrop 2].
  • You can keep consolidating, like so:

     SD: d28
     MD: d{41..70}
     LD: d{86..125}
     S: 10dSD + LD             (Small Chaser)
     M: 7dSD + 5dMD + 4dLD     (Medium Chaser)
     L: 2dSD + 7dMD + 8dLD     (Large Chaser)
     B: 6dMD + 12dLD           (Boss Chaser)
     loop N over {1..3} { output NdM named "[N] x Medium Chaser" }
     output B + L named "Boss and Large Chaser"

  • You can reduce the result to a threshold, for example using output B >= 1500. The result of 1 matches that comparison, 98.65%, while zero represents the opposite. Due to floating-point limitations this can produce useless results with extreme values in very large outcome ranges, though.
IOW, it breaks down at the extremes. Having, e.g., 1028 possible outcomes leads to stupendously small values. In theory one could build custom variables to hold it all, but AnyDice was made with table-top gaming in mind. Death Stranding pushes past what it can accurately handle at the ends of the tails.

Harvest Statistics for Various Chasers and Landscape Harvests

AnyDice gives precision probabilities for DS's chiralium "dice", but you have to work with it.

Here, I've extracted the kinds of values you might want for common scenarios. You can use the AnyDice code above to generate these yourself or to directly compare a particular result you got:

Applying Yield-Group Percentiles to Specific Chiral Cluster Scenarios
Scenario S M L Total Dice Min Roll 0.1% 0.5% 1% 5% 10% 25% Average
(50%)
Std.
Dev.
75% 90% 95% 99% 99.5% 99.9% Max Roll Range Width 99% Width 99% / Range
Cache 0 5 2 7 377 414 424 430 446 455 470 488.5 25.32 507 522 531 547 553 563 600 224 128 57.14%
Small C 10 0 1 11 96 166 179 185 203 213 230 250.5 28.03 271 288 298 316 322 335 405 310 142 45.81%
Med. C 7 5 4 16 556 689 706 715 739 752 775 801.0 36.94 827 850 863 887 896 913 1046 491 189 38.49%
Large C 2 7 8 17 977 1135 1155 1165 1192 1207 1232 1261.5 41.48 1291 1316 1331 1358 1368 1388 1546 570 212 37.19%
Boss 0 6 12 18 1278 1461 1483 1493 1523 1540 1567 1599.0 45.26 1631 1658 1675 1705 1715 1737 1920 643 231 35.93%
1 Hour 105 28 7 140 1855 3508 3558 3583 3650 3687 3747 3815.0 99.41 3883 3943 3980 4047 4072 4122 5775 3921 513 13.08%
Scroll to the right to see the whole table.

S / M / L / Total columns: The number of Small (1 to 28 cgs), Medium (41 to 70), and Large (86 to 125) chiralium clusters, and the total number of dice (i.e., chiralium clusters).

Scenarios:

  • The most-common Chiralium Cache of 0/5/2 Small/Medium/Large clusters.
  • An example of a Small Chaser in the game. They're mostly in the Eastern Region.
  • An example of a Medium Chaser. Mostly in Central.
  • A Large Chaser, specifically the big one at the Ruined Factory west of Craftsman.
  • The Final Boss Chaser just outside Capitol KC.
  • One Hour spent collecting chiralium clusters on the landscape, assuming a 15:4:1 S:M:L ratio. I got 70 CXCs in a half hour near Craftsman which were very close to a 75% : 20% : 5% ratio for Small, Medium, and Large. I bumped it to an hour here because if I showed a half hour, I would've had, e.g., 3.5 Large clusters.

Statistics:

  • The percentiles shown are from AnyDice, and are one-tail on both sides. They should be read as less than the value shown on the left, and greater than it on the right. For example, for the Final Boss (penultimate row):
    • To left of center (a low roll), you expect a roll of 1493 or less 1% of the time (actually slightly less than 1%; the probabilities are almost never exactly, e.g., 1.0000%), and
    • To the right of center (a high roll), you expect a roll of 1705 or higher less than 1% of the time (100% – 99% = 1%).
  • The Range Width is the total number of possible outcomes (i.e., the total number of possible chiralium harvest values). It's the maximum possible roll minus the minimum possible roll, plus one (to also count the edge values).
  • For two-tailed values so that you can see, e.g., the inner 99% (99% Width), you would have to, e.g., consider this to extend from the 0.5% dice value to the 99.5%. IOW, remove the outer 0.5% from both sides. Actually it's a little more complicated than that: Since the values shown in the table are exclusive (only showing what's less than 0.5%, for example), you'd have to add 1 to the left die value and subtract 1 from the right. So the inner 99% of the Final Boss is from 1484 to 1714 (231 values; 1714 – 1484 + 1 to include the edge value).
  • The 99% Width column shows how many dice-value outcomes are included within the two-tailed 99% of the data. As explained in the previous bullet, for the Final Boss this is 1484 to 1714 (231 values).
  • The 99% / Range column shows the percent of all possible outcomes that you expect to see in 99% of rolls. For the Final Boss, this is 231 / 643 = 35.93%. IOW, 99 out of 100 times you expect your outcome (your total chiralium harvest) to fall within only the central ~36% of all possible outcomes.
As you can see, this percent gets smaller and smaller as the number of dice increases. It's rather ridiculous for the One Hour Landscape Harvest because it involves so many rolls (140). Generate its [Graph] to see its extremely wide yet highly improbable tails.
  • For the Minimum and Maximum Rolls:
    • The Minimum Roll is the lowest you can possibly get, if every single die came up as the equivalent of "snake eyes". Likewise, the Maximum Roll is the highest you could get, if every die came up "boxcars".
    • These are utterly unfathomably rare events. For the Final Boss (6 Medium and 12 Large dice), both the Minimum and the Maximum would only come up once in ~1.22 × 1028 rolls on average:
      • For the Medium dice with 30 values, 306 = ~7.29 × 108. The Large dice is 4012 = ~1.68 × 1019. Multiply them together to get ~1.22 × 1028.
      • If you could kill one Final Boss per second, it would take you ~3.88 × 1020 years of non-stop play to get just one of these outcomes, on average. That's 28 billion times the current estimated age of the universe (13.8 billion or 1.38 × 1010 years).
      • But more realistically (ha ha ha) you might kill one Final Boss per hour. So multiply 4 × 1020 years by 3,600 (60 s/min and 60 min/hr) to get 1.4 million billion (1.40 × 1024) years for one single snake-eyes or boxcars on a Final Boss, on average.
      • So hey. If you're ever bored, there's something to do... kill the Boss 1028 times.

If you want, after you kill a Chaser and harvest all the clusters, you can compare the results in your Log to the yield-group table or AnyDice. All you want to do is simplify it to how many Small, Medium, and Large clusters it dropped. Like how I said the early-game Chaser drops 10 Small and 1 Large cluster.

Once you get that, you have a good feel for what that particular chaser drops, and it's pretty easy to tell others: "It dropped 10 Small and 1 Large cluster, for me."

If everybody started keeping simple tallies like this, we could make broader statements about Chaser yields (and compare what I've written up here) more easily. The key statistic past your total chiralium haul is only the number of Small, Medium, and Large clusters.

If you do this, it's a good idea to also note your game difficulty and the location of the Chaser (maybe when you screencap your harvest Logs). Or else you probably won't remember where each Chaser was if you put your results together later, laugh. (If the goal is to document what kind of Chaser drops you get, and where, you need to remember where each Chaser was. Ya know? It gets impossible to remember 10 days and 30 Chasers later, unless you keep decent notes.)


Remember that there is a little variation in the yield-size and number of clusters that Chasers drop. Look at my example of the Ruined Factory Chaser, where I made a bunch of actual kills (not reload re-samples). You see that, while there is variation, the total harvest is still about the same. So, not only is there a lot of variability in how much you get from each cluster, there's also a little variability in just how many clusters of each yield-size are dropped.

In this way, the game provides fairly robust variability for each Chaser, but not a crazy amount. And the designers could pretty easily say "they'll get a big haul from this Chaser" (or whatever) just by tweaking the number of yield-size clusters it's likely to drop. Like how my early-game Chaser drops 10 Small and 1 Large cluster, but the final boss drops 6 Medium and 12 Large clusters.

Summary of Observations on Chiral Clusters dropped by Catchers

  • If you save a game right after killing a Catcher and before harvesting, its clusters will be at the same location with the same size (Small, Medium, and/or Large hands) when you reload. But the harvest from each one will be different on each reload, within the bounds of the yield for each cluster size, as described above.
  • Conversely, if you were to kill the same Catcher multiple times in different battles (at the same location), you will get a similar number of clusters (but not exactly the same) which would have a similar fraction of cluster sizes (but again, not exactly the same).
The overall harvest will be roughly the same for a given Catcher. Compare the results for the Ruined Factory BT, above. That particular guy always dropped 1k+ worth of CXls, unlike almost any other BT on the map. Repeated kills of other Catchers in specific locations were also always in the same ballpark for that particular Catcher.
Still, it's possible for the devs to throw you an unexpected loop, such as the very high-yielding Catcher in the mountain pass on the way back to Cap KC from Port KC just before the final end boss. I call it "unexpected" inasmuch as I hadn't found one that big there, prior to that. (My other two Catcher hauls from that mountain pass were 269 CXls coming from the east going west, and 736 coming from the west going east.) It wasn't until I was coming back to Cap KC for the final showdown that the devs tossed in an especially hard Catcher there, that you wouldn't see before.
  • In my experience, every Catcher drops at least one high-yield CXC. And all but the final whale boss drops at least one low-yield CXC.
  • The number of clusters dropped by Catchers in my data varied from 11 to 18. Some of these counts surely included a random landscape cluster or two that was already on the the ground and thus not directly due to your Catcher kill. That said:
    • It's almost impossible to see these in the tar, or get a Catcher to die in a spot that doesn't have any existing chiralium hands.
    • Even if you could, in actual gameplay, it'll still happen to you from time to time.
    • So, for practical purposes, the results are still relevant to real-world harvest hauls, even if they sometimes include a "random" landscape cluster.

The same yield groups that apply to Chaser drops also apply to the lone / random clusters you find dotted around the landscape. Read on.

Strategies for Obtaining Chiralium

What might you get from ordinary play, and how can you increase it?

Chiralium Gained in a Casual Play-through

How fast will the CXls in your inventory, and thus your Bonus Chiralium Capacity, increase?

It depends. Many new or casual gamers probably play like this:

  • They make most of the Autopavers that they can. This usually keeps your CXls pretty low until you finish making roads.
  • They only fight about as many Chasers as they have to.
  • They only pick up CXCs and Caches dotting the landscape when convenient (on their way) for the most part.

Their total CXls will probably stay below a few thousand until they make it to Mountain KC. Then it will slowly start rising.

That's how my first game played out (PC, Normal difficulty). I was in Chapter 15 with 264 Total Play Time (TPT) hours and had 49k CXls on me when I quit. Also, I hadn't spent a lot of effort draining the chiral reserves at knots.

For my second (Hard) game, I made most of the highway segments but also did many more Chaser fights. I didn't leave much CXls at outerlying knots. I had 41k CXls by the time I was ready to leave Central and go west to Edge KC. When I finished regular play long after the end-game and started testing, I had 322 TPT hours and 83k CXls.


So: Casual players may not see much Bonus Chiralium Capacity until late in the game unless they focus on killing Chasers, collecting CXls on the landscape, and perhaps not making as many Autopaver segments (or let others do it).

Many may not even realize CXls increase capacity... I didn't realize it until testing and writing this, long after normal play.

Chiralium from Chasers

Probably the most direct way to get CXls is by killing Chasers.

  • You can get ~800 cgs from medium ones. You'd need to kill ~62 to get 50k cgs.
  • You get ~1260 cgs from large ones such as at the Ruined Factory west of Craftsman. You'd need ~40 to get 50k.

I guestimate that it took me 30 – 50 minutes real-time to kill each big Factory guy, including setup and mop-up. Maybe call it 40 minutes on average. That's ~1,890 cgs/hour (1260/(2/3)). And it would take about 26 hours to get 50k CXls at that rate. (Of course, you get CXls in other ways while playing, too. So you wouldn't actually have to spend 26 hours killing ~40 big Chasers to get to 50k. I'm just putting it into perspective.)

Chiralium from Landscape CXCs

These are the "random" stand-alone chiralium crystal (CXl) clusters (CXCs) that dot the landscape. For a little test, I:

  • Started at Craftsman and went northeast almost to Englert, on the black soil outside the ruined mall's "crater". There were quite a few CXls (and cryptobiotes!) along the way.
  • Then went south to the light-colored soil and back southwest to Craftsman on it. There were notably fewer CXCs on light soil versus dark soil.
  • Then went northwest of Craftsman to the big tar lake. There was the usual amount of CXCs on dark soil on the way, but almost no CXCs by the beach there (with BT gasbags hovering over the lake, after the end-game).
  • I finished by going due west to Autopaver 41-5, finding normal amounts of CXCs around there.

I spent 30 game minutes in all and got the following:

CXC cg
Harvest Stats
Yield
Group
Actual
N
% Total
N
Calc'd
Ave. cgs
Hypothesized
Distribution
Calc'd for
1 CXC
Calc'd for
70 CXCs
Total 1,889 Low 53 75.7% 14.5 75.0% 10.88 761
Median 20.5 Medium 14 20.0% 55.5 20.0% 11.10 777
Average 27.0 High 3 4.3% 105.5 5.0% 5.28 369
# CXCs 70 Total 70 100.0% n/a 100.0% 27.25 1,908

The little table on left shows you what I got in 30 minutes: 70 CXCs, with a total of 1,889 cgs.

I counted how many were in each yield group. Eyeballing them, it looks very close to a 75% : 20% : 5% ratio of Low : Medium : High (a.k.a. a 15:4:1 distribution). We can then use the calculated average cgs for each yield group to estimate what we should've gotten if indeed it's a 15:4:1 distribution (27.25 cgs/CXC) and whether my calculated yield groups are ballpark accurate. Even though there's a lot of inherent variability, the calculated value was only off by 1% (1908 - 1889 = 19; 19 / 1889 = 1.0%). I guess it goes to show that a large N smooths things out.

To make a long story short: In a half hour, I got ~1,900 CXls. In an hour you could get ~3,800. And in ~13 hours you could get 50k (50k / 1908).

It was only one small attempt; your mileage will definitely vary. Probably, some areas have more CXCs than others (look at what I found in my test). But you might easily get more, too.

In any event, ~3,800 cgs per hour is double the ~1,890 you might get trying to farm the Ruined Factory chaser.


In this same time, I also got 92 cryptobiotes (CBs) from 19 hives. (Two hives had 12 CBs, the other 17 had 4 CBs each.) Ninety-two in a half hour equals a bonus of almost 200 CBs per hour while gathering CXCs on the landscape.

Cryptobiotes are great for restoring blood loss. Looks like you could get the max allowed (999) in five hours.

Chiralium Caches

The Death Stranding landscape is littered with CXC stashes waiting to be plucked. I happened to write down five, then asked on reddit and got a lot more. There could be many others.

They have ~490 cgs of chiralium, though some are smaller and a couple are much larger (the Vog chasm and the Incinerator).

You're sure to run across a few in normal play, but most are off the beaten path. If you don't know about them (and don't explore a lot), you'll miss them.

  • I've put them in rough order of when you'll first get close during play.
  • Marked as Easy, Medium, and Hard relative to how much time you'd spend going out of your way to get to them. Hard is over 10 minutes extra time (one way) when you're otherwise in the general area for normal play (like at the nearest knot).
  • Entries show coordinates, cluster sizes and actual yield (yours will be different), and credit whoever pointed it out first.
    • Distances to knots were obtained by standing in the middle of the cache, opening the Map, and seeing distance to the respective knot's icon. For the record, these icons are where the terminal itself is, at knots.
  • Remember: You must be within 50m for your scanner to pick up Crystals. This is unlike Cargo, which the scanner detects at up to 200m.
    • At high Map magnification, it's easy to tell when there are a lot of clusters close together.
    • Or just use the X, Y coordinates. That's why I put them there, eh? So you can... you know... know exactly where it is. 😎
  • The number of clusters and total yield are estimates; your mileage will vary. But it'll be in the same ballpark. See the section on Cache Stats (below) for more info.
  1. Medium: Atop horseshoe hill across river from Ludens Fan. Just 100m from the river and 210m NW of Ludens Fan. Coordinates -70 +655. 5 medium, 2 large clusters, 507 cgs. (Medium difficulty because most everyone comes close to this in normal play, but there are BTs around.) FWIW, No: This is too far (~512m) from Baton's Waystation Watchtower for it to see this; Horseshoe Hill is on the far side of the Ludens-camp perimeter relative to the Waystation. Credit: MisterCrowbar
  2. Easy: At the top of the hill overlooking Wind Farm, go right (North) across a little chasm. Pretty easy, once you know to look. It's ~409m ESE of Wind Farm on another little hilltop, coords -1110 +535. 5 M 2 L clusters, 490 cgs. There's a 12‑CB hive ~14m to its NE. Credit: MisterCrowbar
  3. Medium: At top of hill across the valley from Port KC. Keep to the right (North) after going through the BT-infested rocky mountain pass from the rest of Eastern. It's right there at the far (W) end of the top-most little plateau, the highest point along the north wall, 662 NNE of Port KC at -1650 +50, elevation 365. 5 M 2 L CXCs, 507 cgs. Also has a 12‑CB hive. Credit: SP_Bridges
  4. Easy: In old sunken road pit just south of Lake KC, if you follow the old road, just after crossing the perimeter of Lake camp (so watch for Mules), at +2340 +1525. 1 S 4 M 2 L clusters kind of spread out; 456 cgs. (The Small one may have been randomly there and not part of the "designed" group.) Credit: frivolous_chicken
  5. Medium: Gap in cliff wall just east of Lake Camp, ~140m ESE of the lone camp tent at +2565 +1315. Medium difficulty because it's not far and you have to fight through Mules... but you'll probably fight them anyway. 5 M 2 L, total 492 cgs. Credit: me
  6. Hard: North of Englert on shore of Tar Lake. About 240m NW of Englert at +1610 +2155. Hard because it's pretty out of the way, especially early in game (but it's not actually difficult to get to). Also a 12‑CB hive there. 5 M 2 L, total 481 cgs. You might hit it every time you visit Englert, in which case it's Easy. Credit: GoCockles
  7. Hard: West of DC S of Lake KC, at base of that U in the cliff. From the DC go ~550m WNW to +515 +500. This is almost due west, but a little north too, to skirt over a BT zone. Rated hard for all the rocks and BT timefall hassle. You'll see a real obvious U-shaped concave "innie" in the cliff here; the CXls are right at its base, sort of spread out. 5 M 2 L, total 493 cgs. Credit: thomas2026
  8. Very Hard: Vog Chasm northeast of Film Director. This is no ordinary stash; you have to prepare for it. It's 330m NNE of the Director and 1040m due E of the DC, at +2090 +290. Find 6 S 3 M 4 L (13) clusters for 745 cgs, actually in two batches (3/2/2 to the west and 3/1/2 to the east). You must have an O2 mask and a quick way to get out; masks only last 3½ minutes in Vog with 1k SBUs. (I recommend a climbing rope, not a ladder... it has no setup time when in the vog since you set it up before coming down and by the same token you know it'll go all the way up, too; ladders can be finicky.) Or do like frivolous_chicken and plunk down a generator! Memory Chip 48, Low Roar's Once in a Long, Long While is also here. After this, hit the Matango Mounds just to the north! Credit: me
  9. Medium: North of Chiral Artist's Mother on a beach inlet ~190m, at +2150 -720. 4 M 1 L for 303 cgs. This one is only in the Director's Cut. Here's a YouTube frivolous_chicken made of it. Credit: frivolous_chicken
  10. Easy: Welcome to South KC. Just past the Cosplayer, the autopaver goes over a hill and onto the "plains" of South KC. Immediately to your left is a concrete highway support and in front of it at +900 -710 is a cluster of 5 M 2 L clusters for 488 cgs. frivolous_chicken calls it a dilapidated "Welcome To" sign. Credit: thomas2026
  11. Hard: Due SW of South KC at the river. When you exit South KC's entrance, go due SW 572m initially along the face of its perimeter wall, then continue due SW all the way to the river. (If you didn't know: the Compass shows direction facings.) There's a boulder on a sprit of land jutting into the river at +840 -1470 with 5 M 2 L clusters for 536 cgs. Credit: HaibaraHakase
  12. Medium: Due S of Timefall Farm at Tar Ocean's edge. Just go S ~433m to a little rock ledge right above the Tar Ocean beach, at -10 -2040. There are 2 S 4 M 1 L for 387 cgs. In a YouTube, frivolous_chicken got a similar amount (3 S 4 M 1 L for 379 cgs). Credit: SNaKe_eaTel2
  13. Hard: 566m due SSE of Timefall Farm on big rock pile near Ocean's edge. This is only ~250 SE of the previous cache (above), easy to do in succession. Go to the top of the baby-mountain pile of rocks you see by the beach; it's at +90 -1620. Has 5 M 2 L for 514 cgs. Credit: Hero-OC (from an online sign in game)
  14. Very Hard: Atop the little mountain 584m SE of Timefall Farm, where the Shrine and Memory Chip are. Although this is only ~250m NE of the previous cache, it's much easier to get to the top of this other mountain by going SE from Timefall Farm and cutting around the little mountain to its East side (look at your Map), then getting off your bike. The cache is at +400 -2090, elevation 287m, consisting of 4 M 2 L for 377 cgs. You'll also find Memory Chip 51 (the Valhalla Rising OST), a hive with 8 CBs, and a Torii (Shinto) gateway. Here's a YouTube by PowderedGround showing you how to get to it, and what's there. Credit: frivolous_chicken
  15. Chiralium clusters, memory chip, and ladders in the chimney well of Central's Incinerator
    Easy: In the Chimney Well of Central's Incinerator there are 15 or 16 CXCs scattered around. Factoids: The center of the chimney is -355.47 +2304.05; its top is elevation 333m and the well's floor is 204m, so the chimney is ~129m tall. I got 16 clusters in one sampling: 5 S 7 M 4 L, total 849 cgs. A different time I got 15 CXCs, total 845 cgs. You don't need climbing gear; there are ladders built into the walls. FWIW: I also checked the Incinerator in the Eastern Region (in the after-game, Episode 15). There were no chiral crystals at all, but lots of BTs! Credit: me
  16. Hard: NNW of the Central Incinerator on a peak jutting into the Great Tar Lake at -540 +3160 are 5 M 2 L clusters for 503 cgs. Fairly high up on that little peak. It's a bit of a hassle to get to, but it's pretty close to the next cache. Credit: me
  17. Very Hard: Even farther NNW of the Incinerator at the end of the little peninsula jutting into the Great Tar Lake at -815 +3325, with 5 M 2 L clusters for 482 cgs. All in all, a bit of a scramble to get to. But both of these are close, so you may as well get them both. Credit: MisterCrowbar
  18. A cluster of CXCs 260m NE of the Spiritualist. You can see her knot in the distance to left of center.
    Hard: 260m ENE of Spiritualist at +75 +1090. This is almost right on the way if you're making a zipline from the Spiritualist down the spine of the northeast side of the mountain to Craftsman. 5 M 2 L for 486 cgs. Credit: me
  19. Medium: 200m WSW of Geologist, at base of ruined building. Go W from the Geologist around the base of "his" mountain and you see two ruined buildings. The CXCs are at the more-southerly one (on your left), spread along the base of its north side. At -1090 -820 with 5 M and 2 L for 531 cgs. There's also a 12 CB hive right there. Careful, there are BTs just north of here. The Half-Life Wearable Headcrab cube is ~125m to the NNW. Credit: me
  20. Very Hard: At the north edge of the Volcano Camp perimeter, where broken buildings are. You will be just south of BTs here, but inside the Terrorists' perimeter, and they will come for you. It's 528m SSW of Evo-Devo at +2050 -1160. Find 5 M and 2 L for 460 cgs. Credit: frivolous_chicken
  21. Medium: Along the shore leading to the Chiral Relay, 307m E of the Relay (on the far side of the river delta), look for a standing boulder near the shore of the Tar Ocean. They're all around the boulder; walk around it or you might miss one. Coords -2255 -2055 with 4 M 3 L for 553 cgs. A nice little present to see you off to the West. Credit: frivolous_chicken

These stashes regenerate over time, but I don't know how quickly. All I know (so far) is that they've regenerated if I come back, usually much later.

I also don't know how much each cache might vary across iterations. My guess is that they're like Chaser drops: the number and size of hands is always in the same ballpark, but can differ slightly. And of course, each crystal itself always gives a random roll when you pluck it.

Recycling and Chiralium

Did you know that the three Custom Chiral items provide 100 cgs when recycled?

For things you can Fabricate, recycled items yield half of what it took to make them (if undamaged and full of ammo or charges). Thus, the PCC2 returns the highest amount (30 CXls to make, 15 to recycle – if undamaged). Container Repair Spray provides 8 cgs; the rest are 5 or less. (Most of the things that you can Fabricate – 71 of 76 items – neither require nor provide any Chiralium.)

Recyclable Items that Provide Chiralium
Item Name Amount Fab?
Custom Chiral Boots,
Climbing Anchor, and Ladder
100 No
PCC Lv.2 15 Yes
Container Repair Spray 8 Yes
EX Grenade No. 2 8 No
EX Grenade No. 1 4 No
EX Grenade No. 0 2 No
Hematic Grenade Lv.2 5 Yes
Hematic Grenade Lv.1 and
Custom Hematic Grenade
2 Yes, No
Regular and High-Cap. Blood Bags 3 Yes, No

Of course, you'd never Fabricate something just to Recycle it for CXls. And hopefully you're not raiding Share Lockers just for chiralium. This leaves the "freebies" as potential targets: EX grenades, blood bags, and Custom Chiral stuff you don't need.

Low-yield freebies may not be worth bothering with. But it's super easy to use regular items instead of Custom Chiral ones, if you want. If it sounds like a plan, just say Thanks for the chiralium whenever you get Custom Chiral stuff.

Standard Orders going To Preppers with Custom Chiral Rewards

If it helps your planning ... this is from Spenjer1's crowd-sourced Full Standard Orders List as refined by JohnnyWalker2001 in that post, with SCEs by me. I've found and fixed some mistakes in this data (as a whole), but generally it's in great shape:

Order
No.
Approx. Likes Starting Location Name of Order Cat. Total
kgs
Total
SCEs
Reg. Prem.
  To   Junk Dealer     20 orders. Premium reward: Custom Chiral Ladder
177 198 268 Engineer Machine Oil DV 107.5 15
205 116 154 Craftsman Items Used by Old Robot-Lovers DV 96.0 12
221 48 67 Timefall Farm Timefall Porter Beer CC 30.0 4
235 126 172 Junk Dealer Old Components Stolen by MULEs Misc 204.0 ?
236 104 140 Junk Dealer Anti-rust Solvents Lost During Delivery Misc 96.0 ?
237 77 183 Junk Dealer [Re-Order] Collection: Old Components Misc 110.0 12
255 101 134 Chiral Artist's Studio Family Furniture DV 81.0 13
256 71 93 Chiral Artist's Studio Special Glassware DV 90.0 12
257 17 21 Chiral Artist's Studio Much Loved Children's Books CC 4.0 1
299 371 504 Photographer Special Glassware DV 120.0 16
393 35 49 First Prepper Top-class Cooking Utensils CC 30.0 4
403 27 35 Collector Epic Porter Biographies - "The Great Deliverers" CC 76.0 8
425 61 76 Lake KC Classy Coral Ornaments CC 28.0 4
455 41 51 DC S of Lake KC Chiral Crystal Ornaments CC 58.0 8
456 24 28 DC S of Lake KC Dinnerware for Newlyweds CC 30.0 4
457 22 30 DC S of Lake KC [Re-order] Old Component Delivery DT 15.0 2
481 116 165 Weather Station Special Alloys & Chemicals DV 48.0 12
482 123 165 Weather Station Ceramics & Chemicals DV 28.0 8
500 146 196 South KC Large Consignment of Mostly Junk DV 204.0 36
501 56 72 South KC Antique Furnishings DV 45.0 6
  To   Chiral Artist's Studio     14 orders. Premium reward: Custom Chiral Boots
178 35 49 Engineer Paintings of Married Life CC 29.0 4
206 110 140 Craftsman Custom-Made Polishing Tools CC 10.0 4
238 27 35 Junk Dealer Glass Reclaimed from Junk CC 36.0 4
239 19 21 Junk Dealer Special Glassworking Tools CC 2.5 1
240 191 257 Junk Dealer Resins & Chemicals DV 112.0 32
258 76 175 Chiral Artist's Studio Ornaments Lost Near the Crater Lake Misc 98.0 ?
312 33 45 Spiritualist Beauty Products CC 2.0 1
384 86 113 Cosplayer Anti-aging Creams DV 8.0 4
426 214 289 Lake KC Fragile Ornaments DV 42.0 8
458 58 84 DC S of Lake KC Retro Bags Made from Natural Materials CC 42.0 6
483 221 298 Weather Station Resins & Metals DV 46.0 10
484 135 180 Weather Station Resins CC 64.0 12
502 37 51 South KC Hard-wearing Underwear CC 54.0 8
503 101 134 South KC Antique Art from the Ruins DV 144.0 18
  To   Mountaineer     15 orders. Premium reward: Custom Chiral Climbing Anchor
270 48 67 WS N of Mountain KC Timefall-snow-resistant Clothing CC 68.0 8
271 71 93 WS N of Mountain KC Resins DV 32.0 8
293 81 107 Mountaineer Pediatric Devices Lost during Delivery Misc 23.5 5
294 74 96 Mountaineer Cold-resistant Materials Lost During Delivery Misc 50.5 ?
301 22 28 Photographer Mountaineer's Repaired Cameras CC 1.8 1
314 29 35 Spiritualist Baby-baffling Educational Products CC 4.8 3
323 563 778 Doctor Large Consignment of Fuel for Cold Regions DT 600.0 60
324 78 123 Doctor Antiviral Drugs DT 4.8 4
385 29 38 Cosplayer Extinct Animal Soft Toys CC 14.0 2
395 56 72 First Prepper Russian-army-issue Winter Clothes DV 64.0 8
404 131 175 Collector Educational Toys for Children DV 7.2 4
522 144 234 DC N of Mountain KC Nutrient-rich Baby Milk DT 112.0 16
523 131 175 DC N of Mountain KC Metals DV 60.0 12
550 43 59 Mountain KC Educational Products CC 52.0 8
551 91 120 Mountain KC Special Alloys & Chemicals CC 72.0 18
For Category, CC = Cargo Condition, DT = Delivery Time, and DV = Delivery Volume

Summary of Strategies to Obtain Chiralium

  • Running around and harvesting CXls on the landscape is probably the fastest way. It can provide perhaps 4k cgs per hour in easier terrain.
    • Plus a bonus of ~200 cryptobiotes per hour.
  • Attacking the big Chaser at the Ruined Factory repeatedly might net you 2k cgs per hour.
  • Get Chiralium Caches when you can. Maybe memorize where they are, so you know when you're near.
  • Custom Chiral equipment can be recycled for 100 cgs each, although the rate per hour isn't as good.
    • To match 2k cgs per hour, you'd have to get 20 Custom Chirals in an hour, or an average of one every 3 minutes. This sounds more like work than fun, to me.
  • Milk most knots of all the chiral crystals in their materials banks, but leave some in places you visit a lot.
  • If you want to bother, you can recycle empty container spray, Blood Bags, and heme and EX grenade cans for a handful of CXls each.

Killing Chasers

When I talk about the number of grenades used (below), I always mean the individual charges that you throw. Not, e.g., an entire container of hematic grenades, or whatever.

Difficulty

The only difference I clearly noticed between my first, Normal-difficulty PC game and my second one on Hard difficulty is that Chasers were clearly harder to kill. As in hitpoints; taking longer to kill them... it didn't feel like they actually fought harder. They've always been a challenge to me, rushing around while I struggle with my weapons and frags in slo-mo time. The whole weapon wheel thing seems poorly designed for combat, particularly grenades, shrug.

I have no idea if the additional Chaser hitpoints correlates with how much CXls they drop. It's hard to measure their HPs per se. And I didn't keep stats on CXls in my first Normal game.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are other, more subtle differences in the game due to Difficulty setting. But Chasers' increased hitpoints going from Normal to Hard difficulty is the only thing that hit me in the face.

Combined Arms

I trust that everyone knows that a solid way to kill Chasers is using what you could call combined arms, namely, first hit them with a heme grenade (HG), then shoot them with lethal rounds. As the Tips say under Enemies: BTs,

Using Vaporized Blood to Hit BTs with Standard Ammo: Standard ammo can be effective against BTs if it is fired through a blood smoke screen created by a hematic grenade. This can cause more damage to a BT than hitting them with a hematic round.
Using Bloodstains to Hit BTs with Standard Ammo: Standard ammo can be effective against BTs if fired at bloodstains on the BTs created by a hematic grenade. In fact, this can cause more damage to a BT than hitting them with a hematic round.       (Underlining done by me.)

So, shoot through the red blood cloud. But also watch for red-slicked bloodstains (or muscle-y scars) on Chasers. Heme blood is sticking to them (causing an open wound?), and you can shoot through it with your lethal rounds to cause extra damage. See Otakuko6's YouTube at 5:11 for an example.

Bloodstains signal that you should be shooting at that moment, not chucking HGs. They can persist across a Chaser diving and resurfacing.

Weapon Damage

At the simplest level, you can take down Chasers with heme bullets, heme grenades (HGs), and/or lethal bullets plus HGs. (Not counting stealth, to completely avoid them.) So what's best? Here are my anecdotal findings.

I call them anecdotal because I tried a lot of variations on a lot of different-size Chasers. This means I don't have hardly any good series comparing two types of attacks versus one type of Chaser. Plus it's easy for a shot or frag to miss the Chaser, or they dive into the tar just as you toss a grenade.

So I'm limiting the data I show to the ones where I used the least ammo to take a Chaser down. It does NOT mean I'm always that good (lol); I've never been the best FPS player, anyway. Still, it would only cloud my figures to give ranges that include all my misses, ya know? To make a long story short: These results are me on my best day.

Reminder: These are for a Hard-mode PC game. They clearly have more hitpoints on Hard than Normal.

  • First off: Non-lethal Assault Rifles with heme rounds don't do anything. Found out the hard way, ha ha.
  • For the big Catcher at the Ruined Roadside Factory west of Craftsman. At this point in the game I tried only using HGs, and comparing them.
    • I could take him down with at least 32 v. 1 Heme Grenades (HG1s) or 22 Custom Heme Grenades (CHGs). CHGs have 50% more blood; 75 mLs versus 50. 32 x ⅔ = 21⅓, so ...
    • It pretty much demonstrates that Chaser damage is directly proportion to the amount of blood, as you'd expect.
      • In my second game, I didn't like how HG2s take more time to charge, so I didn't use them at all. Maybe I will in my third game.
    • Using heme rounds (only) and using up all my heme ammo (210 rounds), an Assault Rifle v. 2 (AR2) only got him to half health and an AR3 only to ~45% (240 rounds). That's roughly consistent with simply how many more rounds the AR3 has (14% more). So: No apparent difference in heme-round damage between AR2 and AR3; they're probably the same, as one might've expected. (But still, I tested it. Now we have confirmation.)
    • After the Ruined Factory fights, I switched to combined arms (HGs and AR3 lethal rounds).
  • For the Catcher near Photographer (on west bank of river) I tried combined arms a lot: an AR3 and CHGs. The best I could manage was 6 CHGs and 135 AR3 lethal rounds.
    • But on one fight my AR3 broke after just 23 lethal rounds and I still got him with a total of just 8 CHGs. Not sure how I could do that given the previous 6+135. Maybe HGs are highly variable; sometimes they do a lot of damage, sometimes not so much.
  • I could take down small Catchers (~300 CXls) with 3 HG1s and 72 AR3 lethal rounds.

This data is really hard to summarize because it's all over the place. While some Catchers took significantly less ammo (like the small Catcher above), most of them needed something like ( 8 HG1s or 5–6 CHGs ) and ( 100–200 AR3 lethal rounds ). (The Ruined Factory guy might need 300 rounds.)

FWIW: In the heat of a fight, I find it hard to tell Catchers apart. They all do the same hijinks and you just keep pounding them with HGs and/or lethal bullets. If I weren't writing down how much ammo I used (before and after), they'd all just run together in my mind. (Except for the two big bosses.)

The two big bosses

In my experience, there's not a lot to say here. For the penultimate Higgs boss at Edge KC, I just pound it with as many Quad Rockets as I can.

For the final big whale at Cap KC, you can't fabricate anything and have to scrounge for supplies. Stay on the floating buildings as much as possible. It's a given that I'll die, probably several times. Try to pick up any Quad Rockets thrown to you, and blood to fill them with. Keep pounding away.

If it weren't for how forgiving the game is – with white souls tossing supplies – I simply couldn't do the final boss. Both times (Normal and Hard games), I finished with 99% damage to Order 68 Cryptobiotes, lol. Apparently, the gentle devs once again saved Sam Bridges by not letting Order 68 be completely destroyed.

Junk spilling out of truck during Chaser fights

This may be a minor issue, but it bugged the hell out of me...

Can you prevent all the crap spilling out of your vehicle at a Chaser fight? It gets damaged and is a hassle to pick up when you might only have 10 minutes before BTs come back.

The best answer here seems to be that you should exit the vehicle at the point it stalls and BB freaks, when you approach BT territory. (N.b.: If you're on a highway, vehicles don't stall, they just get momentary slo-mo and BB gets scared.)

I tried a bunch of other things if you get closer than the stall point. None of them worked. I tried:

  • Letting them pull me out of truck.
  • Making sure I'm not in truck.
  • Crouching or otherwise make it as easy (i.e., quick) as possible for tar souls to pull me down.

Every now and then your truck doesn't get unloaded when you're close, but I haven't plumbed any rhyme or reason to it. (Maybe if it was on a hard rock?)

Levels of Warning as you near BTs

FWIW Here are the "warning rings" around BT territory:

  • The first warning is when you first enter timefall (rain or snow). This might be 125m or further away from the gazers themselves.
    • In fact, timefall can happen without BTs sometimes.
    • But conversely, it's always raining or snowing when you get close enough to BTs.
  • The second warning at 80m is when BB perks up and is uneasy. You also get a "slo-mo" hit for an instant.
    • Your vehicle completely stops for a second or two...
    • Unless you're on a highway, on which case there's only a momentary slo-mo hit and scary warning.
  • The third warning at 60m is when BB perks more and starts looking around. The Odradek starts doing a slow, white blink at this point.
  • The fourth warning at 25m is when BB focusses in on a specific BT. The Odradek does a fast white blink, aimed at the closest BT.
  • The final warning is within 10m of gazers. The Odradek is a spinning orange and BB is real uncomfortable. BTs will sense you if you walk normal (so crouch and hold breath when real close).

This and That

Gazer the Gazerian

Here's some details on the floating BT ghosts called gazers.

  • Use "compass vision" to see how far away they are.
  • They're clear and distinct at ~30m away. At 40 or more, they're very wispy and fleeting.
  • They have pretty well defined shapes. Your compass will show the distance to things far away right through their legs, if you position it right.


  • If you kill a Catcher in Eastern, along the shore between Cap KC and the Waystation, all the Eastern BTs go away for 10 minutes. After killing this particular one on the way to the Waystation, you can floor it on a bike and go on to hit the Waystation and then the Distro Center, too, before they rehaunt the area halfway up the river (west of Ludens). IOW: haul ass = free pass.
  • Other areas may well be like this: If you kill a Chaser, they all shut down. But knots are pretty far apart in the larger Central area, shrug.

Bridge Links for BTs and Crystals

The Bridge Links entry for yourself tracks these items related to BTs and CXls. Numbers are for my Episode 15 after-game (Hard, PC):

Description Count
Total Time Breath Held For 00:02:34
BTs Defeated 67
BT Umbilical Cords Cut 13
Giant BTs Defeated (Catchers) 49
Visits to the Seam 7
Total Chiral Crystals Collected 49,857 [cg]
I love taking down Catchers. Folks that like stealth will probably have much higher values for holding breath and umbilical cords, and lower BT counts. Giant BTs means Catchers of all sizes, from the smallest to the final big bosses. BTs Defeated means the little wraith-like gazers, not Catchers. You can kill a lot of gazers at once if you escape from a bunch in a BT tar pit, then lob a heme grenade into them. Or shoot a crowd like this with heme bullets, one bullet each. Also, try your own tip: You can pee on gazers.

Chiral Crystal Bookkeeping in my Second Game

If anyone would like to compare notes, here's an overall accounting of Chiral Crystals in my second (Hard, PC) game:

  • ~29,835 cgs for Auto-Pavers, according to my calculations. I contributed ~72% of materials; the total CXls needed (if you alone built every Paver) is 41,416.
  • I made tons of ziplines from scratch at 30 cgs per PCC2. My current Bridge Links Structure count says 105, but I also tore down quite a few redesigning and optimizing. Also, instead of upgrading a very old Zipline Lv. 2 to Lv. 3 (which takes SO much resources), I just kill near-dead Lv. 2s and make a new Lv. 1 or Lv. 2 – unless it's one that has a lot of Likes. (It's so weird... some of the zips I consider my best placed have utterly zero Likes. Meanwhile, a few sub-prime ones have lots. Go figure.) All told, maybe I spent ~4k CXls on ziplines.
  • Past ziplines, I haven't made hardly any other structures or items that needed Chiral. Maybe a few dozen Heme Grenades (always Lv. 1, 4 CXls each; Lv. 2 needs 10 each), a dozen blood bags (6 each), a dozen Container Sprays (16 each). Call it maybe 600 CXls.
  • The total of the above is ~34k CXls and I currently have 82,969 cgs in Inventory. Adding them together is ~117k CXls I can account for.
  • My Bridge Links (above) says I harvested ~50k. The additional ~67k (117k–50k) must be from knot material banks during gameplay.
  • FWIW: A centigram (cg) is one-hundredth of a gram (0.01 g). You also see this cg unit any time you harvest CXls (and this same info also appears in your Map / Data / Log).
Log of CXC harvesting after a Catcher fight
  • In fact, the Log is a great place to check how much you got from the latest Catcher in total. Just do this:

   Catcher_Harvest  =  End_Total – (Start_Total – First_Cluster)
                    =  End_Total –  Start_Total + First_Cluster

In the inset example, this is 4,099 – 3,065 + 59 = 1,093 cgs harvested.

Caution: Make sure all harvesting data has scrolled onto your screen. If you harvest quickly and hit Tab, game time freezes and the Log won't show lines that have yet to scroll onto your screen.

Also see Chiral Crystal Use in Floating Carriers